Take me home please
LB's, Wellington Parade, Blackfen Road
Season 2017-2018

On Friday 13th last, four adventurers from the Pie and Mash Club journeyed through the garden suburbs of Sidcup with scant regard for the ominous dateline. As part of an ongoing quest to seek out untried pies, they went in search of LB's Pie Shop, a blip on the p-n-m radar for some 5 years.

At a point equidistant of Welling, Falconwood and Sidcup by about a mile and a half, Wellington Parade's relative remoteness from transport hubs makes this a stopping point for inhabitants or casual passersby only.

Once inside this roadside establishment, we were greeted by fellow enthuser Tom Leader, digging into his first course with anything but failure on his mind. His demolition of 4 portions of eels harked back to the golden days of Graham Darlow.

[Below] First courses without and with parsley.

I can state confidently that we were the only pie and mash tourists in a shop otherwise peopled with scholars on lunch break, tradesmen and locals. After a half-hour hike your correspondent and his chums were exceeding glad of the fast food set before them in this plain, yet somehow cosy, refectory.

[Right] The Golden Boys gob up.

'Pie-space'.

Mike's got a brand new instamatic.

 

An overhead of my second course. The classic scrape, snot-green liquor and undulating pie lids baked to within a whisker of combustion – it's copybook southeast London pie and mash.

Here are our dinner ladies, Sarah and Kerry.

The varnished tongue-and-groove decor extends round three sides of the dining enclosure.

Helpfully placed mirrors enable the punter to check for flecks, apply a comb and put on one's best face for the busy Blackfen Road.



As the 1 o'clock rush subsided, I invited myself for a glimpse of LB's engine room, courtesy of proprietor and pieman Steve.

It was spacious and spotless – the perfect environment for this most important vocation, for which Steve gave up a lucrative career in double-glazing.

Well blow me if it ain't a Italforni Pesaro TKD2I Twin Deck, hot-rodded and supercharged for pie production.

Pie and Mash is popular food-without-the-fuss for all generations of your family.

Mother and son Jackie and Charlie [near right] proved knowledgeable local guides, rating LB's as their first choice from the half-dozen shops clustered within a 3-mile radius of Bexleyheath.

Mood shots from Mike's new camera.

Goldwater's non-glass goblet of Baldwin's Sarsaparilla.

Ray sought extra points with a 'Sammy's Shake', but anything without lumps can't really be considered afters.

Best friends forever.

Don't worry, be happy.

A bunch of five on Blackfen Road.

LB's is an unassuming shop off the beaten track. It's a family business – Steve's daughter Sarah takes time out from her hairdressing to help out at lunchtimes. It's just one of many modest enterprises on the fringes of London which are well worth a visit if you're a fan of pie and mash, or seeking a refreshing alternative to corporate menu fodder.

From there a walk back into Sidcup Central for farewell refreshments at the Hackney Carriage.

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